GRIT: The Stories, The Town, The Music – an original performance, by Gympie’s new professional theater company, opens September 6.
Through a mix of storytelling, song and music, GRIT explores the stories of resilience of six fictional characters, all living in the same regional town, “somewhere” in Queensland.
Based on the stories of local residents, GRIT emerged from months of research, creative development and rehearsal.
Over thirty interviews were conducted with artists, mothers, doctors, engineers, farmers, fathers, veterans, retirees – people of all ages and walks of life who have faced different challenges .
Respondents were asked to reflect on how they overcame adversity and identify what gives them courage and resilience when times get tough.
Carefully researching the threads of these authentic stories, the creative team at Perseverance crafted a new performance that aims to honor regional voices and experiences.
From this material, six authentic and uplifting stories emerged.
Sharon Hogan, CEO of Perseverance Street, explained: “An obsession with the idea of resilience and tenacity in our region consumed our thinking earlier this year. “There is no doubt that a record breaking flood may have shaped our aim.
“We were curious to know what gives people in our city and our region the courage to stand up.
“That’s where the idea of GRIT emerged.”
Founded earlier this year in Gympie, Perseverance Street Theater Company is committed to creating new Australian performances, celebrating regional histories and providing career paths and training for young emerging, graduate and local artists.
One of the main objectives of the company is to connect young and emerging artists with more experienced artists.
The talented cast of five has a mix of varying levels of experience.
Nineteen-year-old local actor Fletcher Colfs will play all six characters in the upcoming production.
GRIT will also feature the rising voice and vast musical experience of local artist, Sarah Briggs-Harvey.
Three years ago, she changed the island into a tree, from New Caledonia to Gympie.
Prior to teaching singing and giving music lessons in Noumea, Sarah worked as a professional jazz singer, cabaret designer and actress in Melbourne and overseas.
Jazz singer, Sarah Briggs-Harvey said: “I have enjoyed collaborating with Perseverance Street and have found that this fundamental approach to creating theater and building the skills of emerging talent has resulted in a blend of stories, unique and truly heartwarming songs. and the music. I am so proud of this production.
Thanks to the vision of campus manager, Angeline Medland and the support of the University of the Sunshine Coast, GRIT will be presented in the intimate 75-seat theater space at the Gympie campus, on Cartwright Road.
Playwright Sofia Abbey, a recent UniSC Drama graduate and Creative Writing student, said: “GRIT is a performance that aims to connect us, reminding us that we are not alone in this unpredictable and often crazy human experience. .
“It’s a piece that aims to inspire us to listen deeply to each other and value different perspectives.
“An honest play like this required a small and welcoming space and we found the perfect venue at the Gympie campus.”
This project was supported by the Regional Development Fund, a partnership between the Queensland Government and Gympie Regional Council. The project was also made possible through the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, provided by Regional Arts Australia, administered in Queensland by Flying Arts Alliance.
Performances will take place September 6-17 and tickets are available on the Perseverance Street website or directly through Humanitix.
For more information, go to [email protected]